Taiwan to join China’s WTO challenge to US sanctions on chip exports

The island nation said in a statement filed with the WTO that it is seeking a voice in a debate that could have ramifications for the global chip industry due to the island producing the overwhelming majority of the world’s most advanced semiconductors.

Taiwan has formally requested to join World Trade Organization discussions focusing on China’s protest against US chip sanctions, which could have ramifications for the global chip industry

The island nation said in a statement filed with the WTO that it is seeking a voice in the debate due to the island producing the vast majority of the world’s most advanced semiconductors. Taiwan's Office of Trade Negotiations said that it seeks to join these discussions to better understand how this dispute may affect the global production of semiconductors.

According to Bloomberg, in an attempt to overturn US-imposed export controls, which aim to limit China’s ability to develop a domestic semiconductor industry and equip its military, the communist country filed a dispute with the WTO.

"Taiwan is requesting to join the consultation procedure to understand the supply-demand situation of chips," the Taiwanese agency said. Bloomberg said Taiwan has no intention of supporting China’s complaint, nor does the move imply "any dissatisfaction with the United States’ measures."

Beijing accused the US of economic protectionism, jeopardizing the global supply chain, and undermining trade rules.

US trade officials will be traveling to Taipei for the discussions later in the month. Meanwhile, the White House is pressuring allies to support the restrictions.

The Netherlands and Japan have already agreed to join the US in tightening controls over the export of advanced chip tech to China.

Bloomberg reported that the countries are likely to adopt some of the measures to restrict the sale of equipment to Chinese firms.

Even if China is successful in appealing the sanctions, the WTO has no authority to force the US to reverse its actions. The sanctions together with economic problems have adversely affected many of China’s biggest chip firms.

Additionally, Beijing is not allocating massive amounts of resources to their chip firms as they had previously done due Covid outbreaks continuing to strain the country’s finances.

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